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marketing trends
4 min read

The Top 23 Marketing Trends And Tools You Need To Know For 2023

The riskiest marketing strategy these days is to play it safe. Safe is bland, safe blends in with everything else, and safe doesn’t stand out. Do something different to the rest of your industry, do something unexpected and do something first. Start planning your 2023 marketing strategy if you haven’t already, and get ahead of the curve by incorporating some of the latest marketing trends and tools.

You might not be ready for some or most of these, but it’s good to get a sense of the direction the business world is going and try to pick out one or two to focus on. Marketing trends continue to be influenced more by Gen Z than the millennials, but this doesn’t mean these won’t work if your target market isn’t Gen Z – whoever you want to reach these days, the priority should be to be social and be real.

1. TikTok

TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2022, with 70% of TikTokers saying they’ve discovered new products and brands on the platform. And it’s not just B2C brands that can do well there; B2B brands can take a leaf out of the book of companies like Adobe, Shopify and Grammarly and breathe new life into their social media strategy with light-hearted videos.

2. LinkedIn

Being ‘less mature’ than the likes of Facebook and Instagram, content on LinkedIn and TikTok currently tends to perform much better organically (without having to pay for views), so these platforms are where the opportunity lies in 2023. Choose who to connect with carefully and focus on building relationships with supportive commenting and DMs where appropriate. Don’t be too salesy; if you doubt what to post, always ask how you could be helpful. Carousels, images, and concise text-based posts work the best.

3. Email journeys

Email marketing continues to be one of the most impactful and cost-effective ways to reach your audience, but simply asking people to sign up and sending them emails willy-nilly is no good anymore. Create a free resource for your prospects to incentivise them to subscribe to your mailing list and then have a great welcome email. After this, take them on a journey to get to know you and how you can help them.

4. BeReal

Every day at a different time, everyone is notified simultaneously by the BeReal app to capture and share a photo in two minutes. The app wasn’t designed for brands, but Chipolte has already jumped on board to demonstrate the brand’s transparency, capture behind-the-scenes content, and share discount codes.

5. Twitch

Twitch is most famous as a gaming platform, but it’s a fantastic place to live stream content like masterclasses, launch parties, and unboxings to grow a really engaged community.

6. Discord

Community-led marketing will continue to grow in 2023 but growing a community shouldn’t be taken lightly. Remember that you having one-way communication with your audience is not a community,  you having two-way communication with your audience is not a community – the power of community comes when you connect the people in it to each other, and you really understand what they want. If you really are committed to creating or growing a community and there is a business reason for you to do it too, then setting up a Discord channel could be a good option for your members to connect with each other via instant messaging, voice and video calls, and private chats.

7. Supernova

Supernova went live on the app store at the end of 2021 and bills itself as the social network for a positive world with 60% of its advertising revenue going to global charities and 24/7 human moderation for a kinder, more inclusive community. If the other social networks’ values make you uncomfortable, maybe Supernova could be your social home.

8. Slack

Some companies are now using the Slack platform to completely replace email and encourage team collaboration. It’s another good platform for bringing communities together online with instant chat, specific topic channels, threads, private messaging, and file sharing. 

9. Butter

Zoom is so Covid-19. Don’t assume that because tools are the best known, they will definitely have the best functionality for your purpose. If you’re running training or workshops, consider Butter – a great-looking platform for presentations and group sessions with a planner, recaps, flashcards, emojis, sound effects, gifs, breakout rooms, and polls.

10. Podcasting

Not so much a marketing trend but a fully-fledged  It seems that everyone has a podcast these days, but for a good reason. 19% of UK adults listen every week for a total of 69m hours (RAJAR). Podcasts don’t have to book big guests; they can be long, short, or narrative style. Bear in mind your listeners are probably multi-tasking, so make them light and easy to digest. 

marketing trends

11. WhatsApp

WhatsApp is the go-to messaging app, and it gives businesses the opportunity to quickly connect with their customers where they already are. Businesses around the world are already starting to use WhatsApp for customer service, feedback, bookings, food ordering and connecting groups, and this trend will grow in 2023.

12. Telegram

If WhatsApp isn’t right for you or you want to keep your personal and business apps separate, then the Telegram app could be an option for you for instant messaging with customers or creating groups. Club Soda uses the app to create a private group for its members to share progress, problem solve and encourage one another.

13. Visual storytelling

The idea of visual storytelling is gaining popularity in marketing as a way to cut through the content explosion and attention grab. “People don’t care about your product features. They connect with your story only when it emotionally mirrors their problem.”  – Shlomi Ron

The human brain processes visuals much faster than text and prefers information delivered in story format. Mediums like video, images, infographics, and illustration lend themselves much better to visual storytelling, but whatever you’re using, stories should be believable, relatable, engaging, and entertaining.

14. AI and Automation

Time is the most precious resource you have. You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time – or can you? Businesses that embrace automation will see their processes becoming more and more efficient. Too many small businesses fear investing the time upfront to save time in the long run, but they must adopt a longer-term view. Automating as many activities as possible by going digital and with tools like Zapier (which lets your apps talk to each other) will let you focus on the tasks only you can do, giving you a competitive advantage.

The latest marketing trend in AI is the ChatGPT tool which has the ability to fulfill a range of tasks from coding requests to writing copy or music. Technology and business commentators have been stunned by its advanced capabilities leading to debate that it could fundamentally change society (for good and for bad!).  

15. User-generated and employee-generated content

Isn’t it a dream when your customers or employees share content about you? It’s amazing if they are doing this already and without even being asked, but could you do more to encourage this – creating talkability value around your product or service, having an employee activation programme and giving them the ability and incentives to share?

16. Personalisation

Everyone craves a more personalised service from the businesses they use, but the key is always to do this without crossing the line to being creepy. Don’t over-complicate thinking about this – sit down (with your team if you have one) and make a list of the ways you could add a bit of personalisation pizzazz to your business.

17. Conversational commerce/marketing

Working alongside personalisation in 2023 is ‘conversational marketing’ which means you are enabling anyone who looks after sales and customer service for your company to deal with queries and enquiries in a chatty way. Gone are the days of robotic, formal and stuffy customer communications. 

18. Push notifications

Push notifications are a good way to get your customers’ attention if (and it’s a big if) they are appropriate for your brand, genuinely helpful or entertaining for your customer and (most importantly) you have their permission.

19. Social commerce

If you have a product and you’re not selling it directly from your Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or TikTok accounts – what are you doing? You can tag products (even if they’re not your photos) and let people shop directly in-app.

marketing trends

20. Voice search

Voice search rates haven’t quite reached the heights they were expected to by now but are undoubtedly growing. If search engine optimisation forms part of your marketing plan, voice search, with the likes of Siri and Alexa, needs to be considered.

21. Video

Video should 100% be part of your marketing strategy in 2023. The value-per-second that you can create for a prospect will be much higher than you can give with words or imagery, and with Instagram Reels and TikTok, your videos do not need to be super professional and polished; in fact, you’ll put yourself at a disadvantage if they are as ‘real life’ resonates much more with people in 2023.

22. Customer retention and loyalty

It’s much cheaper and easier to keep a customer than to get a new one. Businesses upping their game with specific customer retention strategies are the ones assigning their marketing budgets in the smartest places. 

23. Geolocation data for hyper-local marketing

Hyper-local marketing is where you target customers with search engine, social or display ads in a highly specific geographical area. It can be a really good way for local businesses like shops and restaurants to build a local tribe.

The main skill in marketing is to spread your ideas and step back and see what your potential customers find helpful or entertaining about your business. Always make it about them, not you – think about what they want to hear and how not what you want to tell them.

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Sophie Cross

Sophie Cross is the Editor of Freelancer Magazine and a freelance writer and marketer at Thoughtfully.

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